Nutritional status in hospitalized elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment.Clin Nutr 2009; 28(1):100-2CN
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Malnutrition is prevalent in hospitalized elderly people leading to complications including cognitive deficit. However, the relationship between the nutritional status and the preclinical phase of dementia in the elderly is still unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of malnutrition in older patients with mild cognitive impairment.
A total of 623 hospitalized elderly patients underwent the comprehensive geriatric assessment to evaluate medical, cognitive, affective and social aspects. Nutritional status was assessed by using the mini-nutritional assessment. The cognitive function was categorized into three levels -- normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment and dementia -- according to the neuropsychological evaluation.
According to the mini-nutritional assessment classification, 18% of the sample study was assessed as well nourished, 58% at risk of malnutrition and 24% as malnourished. Patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia had significantly lower frequency of well nourished and higher frequency of at risk of malnutrition or malnourished than patients with normal cognition.
Malnutrition is prevalent in hospitalized elderly patients with cognitive deficit, even in those with mild cognitive impairment. It remains to be demonstrated whether improvement in nutritional status may delay progression to dementia in these patients.